Tip: The Wake-Up Push-Up

This will get your butt in gear in the morning, relieve stiffness, and prepare your low back for the big lifts.


Eliminate your bad morning habits, leave your phone in another room, and summon your inner bro-yogi. Wake yourself up every morning with just a few sets of these yoga push-ups.

Yoga push-ups are pretty much regular push-ups with a hip hike. While the push-up part of it will do, well, what push-ups always do, that extra hike of your hips is what makes yoga push-ups so special. This is especially true first thing in the day when you're stiff AF and need to get moving.

Yoga push-ups will loosen up your entire body, especially your shoulders and hammies, giving your posture and low back some much-needed TLC to start the day.

You know how important your rotator cuff muscles are. But don't forget that for optimal shoulder health and balance, your serratus anterior are arguably just as important. Yoga push-ups are not only good for opening up your shoulders in an overhead position, they'll develop scapular upward rotation and the strength of your serratus anterior, too.

Let's not forget the mini-pump push-ups will give you. Whether you're heading to the office or the gym, a little extra blood flow never hurt anyone. Forget your mushroom coffee, a pre-breakfast pump is the only cognitive enhancer you'll ever need.

If you're "too busy" to add a minute of these into your morning routine, use them as a warm-up for your workouts.

There are heaps of modifications you could come up with. Frequently switching them up keeps it interesting while exposing you to the benefits of different positions. Here are some to try.

While the basic yoga push-up simply involves doing them with your feet on the floor, elevating your feet is a great way to tax your upper body even more.

Opt for one leg at a time if you want to add even more difficulty.

Toe tap or butt tap variations add variety and help keep it fresh. Adding a reach with one arm allows you to get an extra single-sided stretch while firing up your core.

Toe tap variation

Butt tap variation

Get mobile with a Spider Man pose. These will open up your hips while challenging your rotary stability.

Using a Y-reach will further improve your overhead position while activating some key shoulder and scapular stabilizers.

Add some sliders to the mix to get all the benefits of yoga push-ups while hitting your core even harder. If you don't have any sliders, then do them in your socks on a slippery floor.

Be a maverick with the renegade yoga push-up. You'll probably want to skip these for breakfast, but for a time-efficient push-up that'll pretty much do everything, these are a great workout finisher.

You don't need to spend too long doing these to feel the benefits. Start by committing to just 6-10 reps first thing in the morning. This shouldn't take you any longer than a minute. Pick any variation you fancy.

Gareth Sapstead is a leading strength and physique coach from the UK. He specializes in problem solving and breakthrough training techniques.

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